Greetings ladies and gentlemen and welcome! Today on ToughAssTools.com we are going to be doing a product review on Estwing’s EB-15S, E15S, EB-15SR, E15SR, EB-15SM, E15SM, EB-19S, E19S, EB-19SM, and E19SM black ultra framing hammer. As you can see this hammer comes with multiple buying choices such as a fifteen ounce, a fifteen ounce with a shorter handle, and a nineteen ounce. On top of that there is also a waffle or smooth faced option and a vinyl grip or a leather grip option as well. For a full listing of every option available scroll to the bottom of this product review.
For nearly one-hundred years Estwing has held the Gold standard for one piece steel construction framing hammers. Heck, they pioneered this type of hammer all the way back in the 1920’s. Ever since then a steel framing hammer has accompanied nearly every carpenter across the United States and some would say even across the world. Most units come with a rip claw, a finished steel polish, and a thirteen to sixteen inch handle that has Estwing’s patented shock reduction grip molded onto it. (This hammer in today’s review will either be a fifteen and a half inch or a thirteen and a half if you get the short version.)
This Estwing hammer is meant for light framing work. It is marketed towards professional tradesmen but I am not sure if a nineteen ounce steel framing hammer will get the job done that they are needing. I find that most carpenters prefer a twenty to twenty-two ounce steel framer. While this comes close I fear that it may not have as much power as a twenty-two ounce Estwing.
Like most Estwings this hammer is a solid one piece steel construction and either comes with a vinyl grip which can be see on the picture to the right or it comes with a leather grip. Each grip does a great job in shock reduction. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other but some users have complained that the leather grip is sometimes hard to hold onto during a swing. It is a matter of preference though. This hammer also comes with a magnetic nail starter, a rip claw, and a side nail puller. This side nail puller is a great addition when working in tight spaces that don’t allow the larger rip claw to be used.
That’s enough about the features of the hammer though. Let’s take a look at some of the Pros and Cons and see if this product is worth your money or not.
- The first and strongest Pro on the Estwing EB-15S, E15S, EB-15SR, E15SR, EB-15SM, E15SM, EB-19S, E19S, EB-19SM, and E19SM models are all of the features that it comes with. Most of the time if you want the magnetic nail starter, the one piece construction, the side nail puller, and a leather/vinyl grip you have to pay a pretty penny. As I write this Amazon’s price is under fifty dollars. (Subject to change at any time.) That is a heck of a deal and cannot usually be found through other brands.
- I mentioned it above but one piece solid steel construction means a lot especially if you’ve gone through the hassle of swapping out broken Hickory handles. One piece construction means durability and that means that this hammer will last generations. I am a huge fan of one piece construction rather it be steel, aluminum, or Titanium. I want my hammers to last.
- Like most Estwings this hammer comes with excellent balance and will make the heaviest model, the nineteen ounce, feel like you’re barely swinging anything at all.
- If you scroll to the bottom of this post you will see just the sheer amount of options to choose from when purchasing this hammer. Vinyl or leather. Smooth or waffle. Short handle or large handle? The choices are up to you. I love the feeling of getting exactly what I want and not having to settle for something that is just good enough.
- The last point that I am going to make on this product is that it is manufactured here in the good old United States of America. Estwing has been making hammers and other tools in their Rockford, Illinois office for nearly one-hundred years now and there is no sign of slowing. It’s good to buy American. Heck you can even see the Eagle and the USA letters below if you weren’t sure.
When I do my research looking for the downsides of a product I find it best to list them all out in an easily digestible list. This makes it easy for you, the consumer, to see exactly what is wrong with the product and it allows you to make the decision then and there if you want to purchase the product or if you want to move on to something else. Let’s take a look at the Cons on this Estwing product:
- I mentioned this earlier but I am slightly concerned that this hammer only goes up to nineteen ounces in size. Most carpenters prefer at least a twenty ounce to drive the larger 16D nails with. Some prefer a twenty-two or even something bigger than that. My concern here is that if this nineteen ounce is big enough to get the job done. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer or a weekend warrior then this hammer is perfect for you. However, if you are a full time carpenter looking for a new hammer I would either recommend the twenty-two ounce Estwing or a Stiletto Titanium hammer if you are wanting to spend a bit more.
- I am a huge fan of one piece construction hammers because of their durability. That being said there is a downside of going away from Hickory wooden handles and that his shock. Wood is a great shock absorber. With a solid steel hammer that shock has nowhere to go but either into the nail or into your hand and I can assure you that not all of that energy is going into the nail. Estwing and other companies have attempted to solve this problem by creating rubber, vinyl, or leather grips that are bonded or molded onto the handle. These grips goal are to soften the shock with each hit that you make. While they definitely achieve this you will still find less shock using a standard wooden handle hammer.
- During my research on this product I did see a few quality issues but nothing too alarming. I believe these were one off instances that had slipped past Estwing’s quality control department. Some of these include premature rusting, rough edges that were not smoothed out during the milling process, off balance hammers with all of the weight in the handle, and misshapen hammer faces. Again, I wouldn’t worry too much about this as they are one off occurrences.
- This is just silly but I would be amiss if I didn’t mention it as so many people are talking about it. With each strike on this hammer it makes a ‘ping’ sound. The best way I can describe it is it is like a bell going off. With each hit you get this bell or pinging sound. Some guys love it as they get that sanctification with each hit while others can’t stand it. I’ve even seen some reviewers rate the product a whole one or two stars lower just because of the pinging sound that the hammer makes.
- The last con on this product that I would like to mention is warranty. Now I’ve always been a fan of lifetime warranties especially when it comes to a ToughAssTool. If I’m going to be spending a my money on a product I want that lifetime guarantee. While Estwing doesn’t offer a lifetime they do honor their products against any defects caused from normal use. That’s the key point, normal use. It is up to their determination on rather or not your warranty claim will be accepted.
- Estwing’s official warranty page can be found by clicking here.
- To file a claim you can call their customer service phone number 1-815-397-9558
- Once your claim has been approved you can send your RA to:
- Estwing Mfg. Co.
2647 8th Street
Rockford, IL 61109
Customer Service 815-397-9558
- Estwing Mfg. Co.
Overall, I would say that this hammer is definitely a buy. You get the premium Estwing name, a solid one piece steel construction, a vinyl or leather grip, and a whole host of other features and addons. Along with all of the hammer comes in a variety of makes in different sizes, different grips, and different faces. There are very little cons on this product.
If you’re looking for a lighter weight framing hammer then this is it. I have assembled a full list of all of these options at the bottom of this review. This list shows each model number along with their features and should allow you to pick exactly what type of hammer you are looking for with ease.
- EB-15S fifteen ounce with smooth face, vinyl grip, & regular handle.
- E15S fifteen ounce with smooth face, leather grip, & regular handle.
- EB-15SR fifteen ounce with smooth face, vinyl grip, & short handle.
- E15SR fifteen ounce with smooth face, leather grip, & short handle.
- EB-15SM fifteen ounce with waffle face, vinyl grip, & regular handle.
- E15SM fifteen ounce with waffle face, leather grip, & regular handle.
- EB-19S nineteen ounce with smooth face, vinyl grip, & regular handle.
- E19S nineteen ounce with smooth face, leather grip, & regular handle.
- EB-19SM nineteen ounce with waffle face, vinyl grip, & regular handle.
- E19SM nineteen ounce with waffle face, leather grip, & regular handle.
Thanks for reading! I hope that I was able to help you in your buying choice today.